A Russian law court has
ordered that access to the Telegram encrypted messaging service
should be blocked, according to Russian news agencies on Friday
(via
Reuters
).

The development follows last week’s news that Russia’s media
regulator had
filed legal proceedings to block the app in the country
because the company refused to enable state security services
to access users’ messages.

The Telegram platform allows people to communicate with each
other using end-to-end encryption, meaning no-one – not even
Telegram – has access to messages sent between users.

The app has over 200 million users globally. They include
Kremlin staff, who use Telegram to coordinate conference calls
with Vladimir Putin’s spokesman. Many government officials also
use the messenger app to communicate with media, according to
Reuters.

When Reuters asked a person in the Russian government on how
they would operate without access to Telegram, the person, who
asked not be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue,
replied by sending a screenshot of his mobile phone with an
open VPN app.

Telegram becomes the second global network after
LinkedIn to be blocked in Russia. In 2016, a court found LinkedIn
guilty of violating a law that requires companies holding Russian
citizens’ data to store it on servers within Russia.

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